Somewhere in the United States at this very moment, people are inside their homes , comfortable, without air conditioning. In fact their windows are open to a silky breeze that makes the curtains dance. In fact, their actual front doors are open to further appreciate the air circulation. In fact, not a one of them is wearing what I am wearing inside the house: one of those chamois neck cloths that keep one cool.
The fact is that I am no longer in Seattle Washington, blessed by a kinder, more gentle sun, but back in go-ahead-and-fry-your-egg-on-the -sidewalk Memphis Tennessee. The typical Memphis August is one I flee as soon as I clean up my fig preserving paraphernalia. If you have ever experienced it I don’t have to tell you about the punishing heat and humidity that makes it difficult to enjoy any human activity besides imbibing iced drinks and taking cold baths. Those of you who have NOT lived through heat indexes of 104 degrees for days upon end may wonder why I am always complaining about the heat.
Here is why. The heat and humidity combined drain me of any energy I may have hoped to have. It’s hot outside and hot inside. I spend days either in a Twilight Zone of ennui, or else contemplating how I can keep myself from throwing a bag of lemons, one at a time, at the next person who asks,”Hot enough for ya?” All that is bad enough without adding that all sense of decorum or fashion fly right up to the blades of the ceiling fan. But yet I am still expected by this unfair world to wear clothing when I leave the house. So yeah, I rock those tank tops. I go barefoot at work. I sweep that red hair up into a comb, off my neck. And I am CRANKY!
This year Seattle was our refuge. I don’t know what it may be like there the other months of the year, but windows open in August is a BIG DEAL to me. The cooler weather, though warmer than usual, was restorative to my spirit. I felt like myself, a person of Northern European extraction who was not meant to wither in the tropical heat. With my energy restored, I was eager to explore the city with two of my favorite people.
I had no agenda planned for the trip. Because it was too hot in Memphis to think ahead for more than one hour. I just wanted to be revived by my company and my surroundings. My husband and daughter had done the planning, and I was along for the ride. I only had to keep up with my camera, and enjoy the sights,
I found had no yearnings to throw bags of lemons at innocent citizens. My attire was much more suitable for my age. In a word, I felt civilized. The Woman of Walmart look is not for me.
I write this post to encourage those among you who do not cotton to the heat. You are really NOT the underdressed crab you appear to be. Underneath your apparent contempt for those who stay chipper at record temperatures beats the heart of a decent human being. You just need to get some clothes on girl, and get outta town, if only for a day or two. It doesn’t even matter what you do. You’ll perk right up just like a big hydrangea that just had the sprinkler turned on it.
It will still be hot when you get back, but knowing about people somewhere having their front doors open will give you some hope. That’s what Seattle did for me, and I thank her. I owe her a more comprehensive post, which I will deliver… when the weather changes. Now pass me that chamois thing, will ya?